I had been serving as an associate pastor at a small church in GrandJunction, Colorado, for about a year before I got out and did any real
hiking (I‘m much more comfortable behind a desk). On the
recommendation of a longtime resident, I took a group of at-risk juniorhigh boys to Hanging Lake, a small body of water east of town. Onceyou reach the trailhead the only way to the lake is on foot; the terrain isjust too rough. So we drove the ninety minutes to the trail, ate lunch,filled our water bottles, and began to climb.
None of us were seasoned hikers, and it didn‘t take long for our lack
of experience to show. While the trail was not spectacularly difficult, wehad to work hard, stepping over rocks and traversing small streambeds.The boys probably were wishing they could have spent the day playing video games.But then we reached the top and looked out over Hanging Lake.None of us had ever seen anything like it. The water was perfectly clear,with fish darting back and forth in full view. One waterfall fed the lake,and a second one at the opposite side emptied it. As we walked along a
boardwalk built on the rocky shoreline, the beauty of God‘s creationmingled with man‘s ingenuity. We crossed part of the lake on a fall
entree, careful not to fall into water that was surely as cold as it was clear.Eventually, we made our way back down the trail (a much easiertrip), climbed back into the car, and drove home. I dropped the boys off at their houses, then went home myself.Thus, the day ended not with a bang but with a bit of a fizzle. Thebulk of our time had been spent traveling
in car and on foot. Thecompany had been good and the exercise had been much needed. Still,we never would have done it had it not been for the promise of that